Analysis Of The Play ' A Raisin Of The Sun '

1343 Words May 4th, 2016 6 Pages
In the play, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, money plays an essential role in character development. The play is set in the South Side of Chicago in the late 1950s. Raisin follows the lives of a poor, urban, African-American family, the Youngers, during this period of heightened racial tension in the United States. The story begins after the death of the patriarch of the family, Mr. Younger. With his death comes a $10,000 check representing the proceeds of his life insurance policy. Since the remaining Younger family members hold differing views about the role of money, their household is nearly torn apart from conflict over what to do with the $10,000 windfall. Specifically, Mama, her adult son Walter, and her 20-year-old daughter Beneatha, have singular agendas about how best to spend that check. Each of these characters initially allows that money to psychologically entrap them, with ruinous potential consequences. Ultimately, it is only by removing money’s power to control them, that these family members are liberated from detrimental mindsets and able to constructively transform themselves.
Lena Younger, also known as Mama, and the eldest member of the Younger family, is a dominant figure in her multigenerational household. At the beginning of the play, Mama serves as the head of the household even though as a traditionalist, she believes the eldest adult male should act in this capacity. Mama for most of the play, appears reluctant to trust her adult son…
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